Sunday, July 22, 2007

Aaron Haith: "It Was A Miscommunication"

The Star's Brendan O'Shaughnessy includes a notebook item in today's edition on the current property tax turmoil about Lockerbie resident Jack Borgerding's ouster from last Monday's committee hearing on Mayor Peterson's proposed 65% increase in the income tax and the apology Chairman Joanne Sanders issued to him at Friday night's meeting. Council attorney Aaron Haith, who eyewitesses alleged stood and summoned a law enforcement officer immediately after Borgerding addressed the council, told O'Shaughnessy it was a miscommunication and he felt bad about Borgerding's ouster. O'Shaughessy writes:

At the request of the council attorney, police officers asked Borgerding to leave the room. When Borgerding asked why he had to leave, he said the officer took him by the arm and walked him out the last few steps.

A few dozen people, upset that he appeared to be expelled for speaking his mind, also walked out of the hearing. This past week, several local blogs leveled charges that the council was trying to curtail public criticism, but Borgerding said Friday he would rather focus on solving the city's tax problem.

Aaron Haith, the council attorney, said he was trying to keep people from applauding and interrupting the meeting. He said he intended for the officer to ask for quiet and didn't realize Borgerding was escorted out.

"It was a miscommunication, and I felt bad about it," Haith said.

Eyewitness accounts differ sharply from Haith's explanation. They tell AI that Haith could be overheard to say, "Get him" as he summoned the law enforcement officer. Another item O'Shaughnessy adds to the story adds more intrigue to his removal. "Borgerding, as it turns out, was a fiscal analyst for this same council many years ago," he writes. That suggests that some council members may have known Borgerding from his work for the council and were upset because he was criticizing them so sharply and with authority. O'Shaughnessy omitted the fact that Borgerding had to endure claims he lied about his tax bill increasing from $2,200 to $15,000. His home in Lockerbie is listed in his wife's name, leading some Democratic operatives to accuse him of lying to the city-county council.


Anonymous said...

uh, what's a "miscommunication" about the council ATTORNEY having the power to sic officers on ANYONE? Is he a police chief? Sheriff? NO! He's a hack attorney.

The big picture here is, the council has an attorney whose background was suspect, who has exercised questionable judgment since he got the job on more than one occasion, and who does not seem to understand he works for us.

Ms. Sanders quickly investigated and issued an apology. She and the other council Demomcrats should demand that Haith be disciplined or fired. On purely professional grounds, and, frankly, on political grounds...

He's behaved badly more than once. And politically, his actions, and the actions of a few council members in general (Like demanding a job for your wife, a job whose lackluster performance has serious consequences) are making the Democratic Party's fall campaign message much harder to get across.

Someone the other day posted that some of these folks have an Entitlement Attitude--they're entitled to act this way because they've waited a long time for control.

It's the only reasonable explanation to this sorry performance by some of them. Unless they have no brains at all.

Anonymous said...

Let me correct Aaron Haith: It was NOT a miscommunication! When you told those deputies to "GET HIM!" and pointed to this person what was exercising his constitutional right guaranteed by the first amendment, it CLEAR what you were doing, Mr. Haith!

Now, I have a question: Why is a city-council legal counsel given the authority to eject anyone? Isn't counsel supposed to offer legal advice to the city-council? Obviously Monroe Gray, Council President, granted Haith this power.

Now, I read my copy of the United States Constitution, and it states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or ABRIDGING THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH, or of the press; or THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO PEACEABLY ASSEMBLE, AND TO PETITION THE GOVERNMENT FOR REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES.

When Haith ejected this man for participating in a peaceable assemble and petitioning the government for redress of his grievance, Haith was acting as an attorney for the city council and also officer of the court. Clearly Haith is not of proper character to be an officer of the court, since he deprives people of their constitutional right.

I hope that the Disciplinary Commission of the Indiana Supreme Court deals with this disgrace to the bar!

Anonymous said...

vumvxzb"Aaron Haith: "It Was A Miscommunication""

That’s what he told me after the meeting. Then I pressed him and Gray as to why they didn't correct the mistake when they saw it happen. Haith turned his back while shuffling papers and Gray stated the man was removed for applauding. Then Gray sicked his deputies on me for asking the questions.

Nothing but lies has emerged from this council since the episode.
The Indy Star's pitiful attempt to address the issue is sickening poor journalism.
Brendan your reporting of half truths and misinformation is appalling. Witnesses to the event are available to you. Your inability to get to the truth is disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Haith tried to enforce some sort of control again Friday night.

Look at the archive from Friday nights meeting.

Administration & Finance, Part 1 07/20/07 Video 01 hr. 47 min. Documents

At the 1:25:10 mark a Mr. Bill otty got his 2 minutes to speak. At 1:27:087 he finishes and walks away from the microphone. They then start calling out the next 5 names to get in line.

1:27:16 he walks back toward the microphone and asked if he could make one more comment.

1:27:25 The chair admonished Aaron Haith for trying to stop him from talking after the chair had already told him to go ahead and speak some more.

What kind of power does this man think he has ?

Pike Voter.

PS - the next guy up had the guts to wear his BART LIES Shirt !


Anonymous said...

The public apology should have come from Haith.

Pike Voter, you are correct on the Friday night meeting, it was SANDERS meeting, NOT Haith's. Then again, he is delusion enough to think he pulls all the strings. LOL!!!